Do You Follow the Example of Jesus?

Seated now at the right hand of God is a human being. His name is Jesus.

As our Lord walked the earth in his brief but glorious life, none who saw him wondered if he was a human being. Of course he was human; they accurately stated, “Isn’t he the carpenter’s boy?” As much as we defend and declare that Jesus is God, we must also defend and declare that Jesus is human. Always and forever he is and will be fully God, and always and forever he is and will be fully human. I preached on this last Sunday morning. You can listen to the full sermon here.

Because Jesus is fully human, he can be our example for how to live life. Think about it, if Jesus isn’t fully human what difference does how he lived make to us? If he’s not fully human, then what he does is not typical for you and me, mere humans. It’s like when a parent compares one child’s accomplishments to a sibling, “Why can’t you be like your sister?” Exasperated, the scolded child blurts back, “Because I’m not like her!”

If Jesus isn’t actually one of us, then his example really isn’t an example for us. His prayer life is not an example for us. His victories over temptations are not an example for us. His kind displays to needy people are not an example to us. None of it matters because none of it was done by an actual human being.

But he is fully human. He was hungry, thirsty, tired, tempted, emotional, and in the end, he died. Death, the ultimate expression of what it means to be human, is the experience we all have in common. Jesus is human, and because he is human we have an example of how to live life. Isn't this what Hebrews means when we read, "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb 12:1-2)?

Here are two questions for you to consider as you think about the truth that Jesus is fully human. First, what example from the life of Jesus is a helpful model to you? In the gospels you’ve read accounts of something Jesus did or character he displayed and you have taken this as your pattern in your life. We are Christians, “little Christs,” and we pattern our lives after Jesus. What part of Jesus’s life are you following today?

Second, what example from the life of Jesus do you find a difficult model to follow? Is his prayer model hard for you to follow? Do you find his model for overcoming temptation hard to follow? Do you find yourself failing to do the will of the Father though you see your Lord setting the pace for how to do the will of the Father? Have you asked yourself, “Where could I follow the example of Jesus?” Today would be a great day to begin.

Long ago Matthew Henry wrote, “The example of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. We must resemble him in his life, if we would have the benefit of his death.” Yes, this is our pursuit in this life – to be like Jesus. I trust you will become more like him today.

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.